Pirates AZ: Tucupita Marcano has shown speed and versatility in three stints in the MLB

Pirates AZ: Tucupita Marcano has shown speed and versatility in three stints in the MLB

During the offseason, Tribune-Review will present the Pirates A-Z: an alphabetical look, player by player, at the 40-man roster, from outfielder Miguel Andujar to pitcher Miguel Yagur.

player: Tucupita Marcano

Position(s): Second base/outfielder

bats: the left

Throws: the correct

age: 23 (September 16)

to rise: 6 foot

Weight: 180 pounds

2022 MLB Stats: Slashed .206/.256/.306 with six doubles, two triples, two home runs and 13 RBI in 49 games.

a necklace: Not eligible for arbitration yet.

acquired: from the San Diego Padres, along with pitcher Michel Miliano and outfielder Jack Swinski, in a trade for second baseman Adam Frazier in July 2021.

Last season: Due to the return of Frazier’s trade position, Marcano made his Pirates debut along with another rookie acquired from the Padres in that transaction under unique circumstances.

With outfielders Brian Reynolds and Cole Tucker on the COVID-19 positive list while waiting for the results of their tests, the Buccaneers didn’t have time to fly in from Triple-A Indianapolis. Instead, they turned to Double-A Altoona, who was visiting Akron.

So Marcano and Swinsky made the two-hour drive to PNC Park, arriving just in time for the April 27 game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Marcano hit a double, scored a run in the eighth inning and knocked Rudy Tellez off the plate in the ninth in the 12-8 loss.

“It was very exciting,” Marcano said of his whirlwind day. “It’s been a year (since the trade) and all this year the fight has been really hard, sacrificing so much, fighting hard to get another chance has been a big thing for me and this organization trusting me and providing this opportunity has been huge for me. Now the task is for me It’s to keep working hard, to keep training hard, to keep going with my preparation, my system so I can stay here.”

Where Suwinski showed staying power, Marcano only made a cameo. He was sent back to Indianapolis after one game and did not return until late May. On a six-game road trip to San Diego and Los Angeles, Marcano batted . 316 (6-for-19) with a 0.982 OPS and two homers.

Marcano has shown on the West Coast road trip that he can handle critical situations. He tied the game in the ninth to get on base for a three-run homer by Ke’Bryan Hayes in a 4-2 win over the Padres on May 28. Marcano then returned in the second inning in back-to-back games against the Dodgers, with a three-run strike in the 6-5 win on May 30 and a two-run blast in the 5-3 win on May 31. He also had a sacrifice bunt in the ninth to put Tyler Heinemann in position to score on Reynolds’ double.

“I’m constantly reviewing tapes and films, examining shooters, studying and evaluating shooters,” Marcano said through team interpreter Mike Gonzalez. “I feel like that’s what’s giving me so much success right now, just doing my homework and staying focused and getting ready and ready.”

Over the next four games, Marcano had an average of 0.91 (1-for-14). It was the beginning of the season with a vein on the plate. A game with covid-19 halted a 19-game stretch as Marcano hit . 262/. 318/. 410 with three doubles, two hits and five RBIs. After three games upon his return, Marcano was optioned to Indianapolis.

When the Pirates brought him back again in August for his third call-up of the season, Marcano took the opportunity to show he belonged in the big leagues.

“Every phone call is filled with opportunities,” said Marcano. “I’ve always seen it as an opportunity for me to show what I can do, not just for myself, but especially for the team to help the team get wins. That’s my mentality coming in here, just doing everything I can to be able to help the team win.”

Marcano proceeded to show consistency, focusing on his effort level. 500 with five doubles, one homer and five RBIs in 14 games in Indianapolis, giving the Pirates the impetus to pitch him in early August when they decided to assign first baseman Yoshi Tsutsugu to the job.

“I have to keep showing up, showing my consistency, showing everyone that I’m here to help the team win,” said Marcano. “There will be things out of my control. The business part that I can’t control. But what I can control is my mind, my efforts, and I come here to help the team win.”

Marcano went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and had a pair of amazing defensive plays in an 8-7 win over the Brewers at Reynolds Stadium. Pirates manager Derek Shelton couldn’t resist the opportunity to give Reynolds a hard time.

“I told Reynolds after the game that I thought Tucupita was the player of the game. I don’t know why they’re interviewing him,” Shelton said. “We keep talking about his son being a baseball player, and he really showed that. He did a lot of really good things.”

Marcano provided a spark after the Buccaneers trailed 4-0. He started the third, then made it to third after the Brewers walked Reynolds and Ben Jamal by two. Marcano hit a two-run single to right by Hayes to cut it to 4-2, and a triple-double, but stranded him in the third and hit an RBI single in the sixth to score Michael Chavis to tie the game.

“He’s a good player,” said Reynolds. “He gets out there, hits the ball hard and plays hard. It was fun to watch.”

Marcano made a diving fielder into left field to rob Kolten Wong of an extra base hit that Shelton called an “incredible play”. When Kevin Newman was stomped right-handed by Tellez in the rundown, Marcano moved from left to second base in the ninth inning.

Marcano was moved behind second base and fielded Hunter Renfroe grilder at center which Shelton said made Marcano look like it came out of nowhere.

“That’s the mentality,” said Marcano. “I’m here to help the team win in every way I can. I always try to do things right, do things right. That’s how I learned, to do things right (and) the results will come. To be able to come here, help the team To win and show the team that I’m here for them means the world to me.”

The play of rookies Marcano and Suwinski made the early returns from the Frazier trade look more positive. The Pirates traded their all-star second baseman for a pair of players with years of club control.

“We’ve traded a good player to get two players who we expect to be part of our future,” said Shilton. “Anytime you do that, it’s a bonus. He’s a tough trading player, especially casual players, but when you start to see results from players on the back side, it’s really good.”

the future: Marcano started 22 games during the last month of the season—five of them at second base and 16 in left field—but his . 154 batting average (12-for-78) and 23 strikeouts against four walks were a concern.

What Marcano wants is his youth – he turned 23 in mid-September – speed and versatility. The Pirates expressed confidence in him at left field, as well as playing second in question.

Now that the Pirates have traded quarterbacks Kevin Newman and Howie Park, Marcano should be a candidate to compete for the starting job at second base with Rodolfo Castro, Diego Castillo and Ji Hwan-bae.

Problem is, the Buccaneers seem to like him more in the turf, because he’s one of eight outfielders on the 40-man roster. Marcano has shown he can chase down drives on the left but the Buccaneers might want to give him a look up the middle to take advantage of his speed.

Kevin Gorman is a writer for the Tribune-Review. You can contact Kevin via email at kgorman@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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